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Fiction General

German Mills

by (author) John Steffler

Gaspereau Press Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2015
    List Price

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Talented, privileged and ambitious, the young William Berczy is disaffected with the strictures of eighteenth-century European society. Quitting Germany to pursue a future of his own making, Berczy refashions himself as a secret envoy in war-torn Poland and a portrait painter in Italy before his charisma and skill for self-invention land him the ultimate romantic role–leading a group of German settlers into the American wilderness. After abandoning his deceitful partners and fleeing from the Gennesee Valley to Upper Canada with his settlers, Berczy’s facade of influence crumbles as he fails to secure either acceptance or success, his talent squandered on petitioning the powerful. Based on Berczy’s compelling, hyperbolic life, German Mills is a portrait of a man entangled in the vain romanticism and restless ambition that propelled the colonial dream and yet lurks just below the surface of Canadian society.


About the author

John Steffler (1947) grew up near Thornhill, ON. In 1975, he began teaching at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, NL. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright won the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Prize for best first book in 1992. His other awards include the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist of the Year Award, and the Atlantic Poetry Prize for his most recent collection, That Night We Were Ravenous.

John Steffler's profile page

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